Washington-Area Fil-Am students receive Rizal Youth Awards
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Eight outstanding Filipino-American students from the DC-Maryland-Virginia area received Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards at the Philippine Chancery Annex on Feb. 9.
The annual youth awards, organized by the Philippine American Foundation for Charities (PAFC) in partnership for the first time with Sentro Rizal Washington DC, aims to recognize Fil-Am students for their academic excellence, leadership and volunteerism in their communities.
For the selection process, all candidates were asked to submit a video reflection and a personally written poem on Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal’s poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” or My Last Farewell. They were also asked to put themselves in the shoes of the national hero and give one last advice to their compatriots.
The top 8 awardees were: (Elementary) Ashley Lea Cabanayan Shrestha; (Middle School) Katherine Gillen, Arabella Palor, and Benedict Hilario; (High School) Patrick Aguda and Sarah Menchaves; and (College) Natalia Fernandez and Franz Jeremy Sandil.
Atty. Ed Logan, a renowned member of the community through his expertise as a lobbyist and humanitarian work, also gave an inspirational speech for the awardees and guests.
“We must strive to educate ourselves with the truth of what is right and what is good,” Logan reminded the awardees of the importance of education and of serving a life with a purpose just like Dr. Jose Rizal.
Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, PAFC President Krystle Canare, and Ramon Antonio Paterno, co-founder of the Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards Day, handed out the certificates to the awardees.
“Jose Rizal placed great importance on the youth. On the one hand, he inspires an unwavering belief in the ability of young people to learn from the experiences of their elders and in their courage to initiate changes,” Romualdez said in his closing remarks.
PAFC Vice President John Victoria led the selection committee for the 26thDr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards, and served as the emcee during the program, that was also supported by GMA Pinoy TV. Awardees and their families enjoyed light refreshments at the conclusion of the formal ceremony.